Talks Begin On Canada-US Forklift Competition
(Excerpt from Ives Update Newsletter – Fall 2009)
The Washington State Western Regional Forklift Rodeo took place on Saturday, August 22 in Seattle and this year, there was a special observer in the audience. John Gilder of the Canadian Material Handling & Distribution Society (CMHDS), and no stranger to forklift competitions, was in attendance.
The CMHDS has been the driving force behind the BC Championship Forklift Rally since 1996, the same time that the Washington state forklift rodeos began. “I guess IVES is the common link between both events,” says Rob Vetter of IVES Training Group.
“We have been working with both groups exclusively over the past 5 years providing all testing, judging and course designs. I had mentioned several times to the organizers on both sides of the border over the years how great it would be to get some kind of international, cross border competition going. This year John (Gilder) decided to take the first step in making it happen by meeting with the Washington state crew in person.”
Gilder feels the first step is to standardize the events. “We already use the same scoring program developed for the US events but there are other things we need to work on to get everyone on the same page,” he said.
“We can’t be too far off though; Andy Ibbotson won this year’s Western Regional in Seattle and he also won the counterbalanced division of our BC Championship in Canada not too long ago.”
Dan Beer, Past President and current Board member of the CMHDS says. “This would be a fantastic opportunity to promote safety on an international scale.”
On the US side, Washington State forklift rodeo officials Al Rainsberger and Mark Ribich are raring to go.
“Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!” says Ribich.
“I think it’s a great idea and don’t see any reason why we can’t make this happen,” added Rainsberger.
So the stage is set, the players are assembled and the right people are in place to get things done. All that remains is to make it happen. John Gilder and Dan Beer will be attending the WA State championship in Tacoma on October 7. They will continue talks with their US counterparts Mark Ribich and Al Rainsberger and officially invite the top three finishers to compete at the BC Championship Rally next May in Vancouver, Canada.
IVES will also be working closely with OROSHA in establishing their first event, “The Columbia Forklift Challenge” in the spring of 2011 and has also initiated discussion with interested parties in California. Who knows? Within the next few years we could be crowning the first Pacific Coast International Forklift Champion!
(For the complete Ives Update Newslettter – Fall 2009 visit their website at IvesTraining.com)